Computers and computer hardware are everywhere. In every aspect of our lives they have made a profound and deep impact. They serve to keep us informed, transport us, even entertain us. It is safe to say that computers and computer hardware are here to stay. But as far as further applications in our lives, they have barely scratched the surface.
While computers are certainly handy devices, how much more handy would they be if you could wear them? Not only wear them, but be able to wash them as well?
With the ability to be worked into textile merchandise such as coats and backpacks, a fabric-based, pressure-sensitive control interface has been introduced by Eleksen, called ElekTex. Their most recent concept incorporates fabric controls and an LCD display. This arrangement can interact with Windows Vista Sideshow. Even if the laptop is in its case and turned off, mini-apps written for Sideshow can wirelessly send notices or email to the LCD display.
While initial plans for the technology are to build it into laptop bags and backpacks, in the not too distant future there are plans to integrate the technology into clothing, like a shirt. This way you wouldn’t have to keep checking your laptop for that critical email you are waiting for. You would just have to look down at your sleeve.
The ElekTex fabrics are made up of layers of woven nylon and carbon-saturated nylon that not only bend but are able to be washed. Due to its nature it has the ability to be sewn, glued and even heat-welded to other fabrics.
There are plans to be able to incorporate a flexible touch pad in to the construction of the materials. Display screens that can bend and be washed are currently being worked on.
But perhaps the very best applications and uses of this technology haven’t even been thought of yet. Any ideas?